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30 years after it was first created, ASICS GEL technology remains an important development in sneaker history. On its 30th anniversary, we looked closer at the GEL story and hooked up with Dutch model and stylist Tirino Yspol who styled the brand’s commemorative collection.

Today’s constructions have developed over decades, early 1950s sneakers comprised just an upper and a rubber sole. It wasn’t until the ‘70s that sponge mid-soles were added to cushion impact and improve practicality. Despite this being a key point in sneaker history, ASICS weren’t satisfied, and in 1984 they began research into a more effective cushioning material. Within two years the brand found Alpha GEL — a mix of soft silicone GEL materials by Japanese manufacturer Taica.

ASICS installed Alpha GEL into the areas of the foot most impacted by running and in 1986 ASICS GEL was officially born when the brand launched the Freaks Alpha in Japan and GT-II in North America. Functionality and appealing aesthetics have always been equally important to the brand’s design philosophy; it’s no wonder they’ve remained popular amongst both running and fashion crowds, increasingly so as the latter has embraced functional footwear.

Celebrating the three decades, ASICS has introduced the GEL 30th Anniversary Commemorative Model featuring three brand defining silhouettes — the GEL-LYTE III, GEL-LYTE V and GT-COOL EXPRESS. Tirino Yspol’s youthful spirit and contemporary styling in the shoot above prove the classic sneakers are still equally relevant to today’s streetwear culture as they are to runners.

ASICS’ GEL 30th Anniversary Commemorative Model pack is available in stores now and online via the link below.

In another milestone story, Ronnie Fieg just announced his 50th collaboration with ASICS.

  • Photography: Kima Ice
  • Styling & Production: Tirino Yspol
Words by Aaron Howes
Branded Content Editor